ALEXANDRIA – The Alexandria Fire Department recently purchased a new $1.24 million ladder truck. But did you know that purchase was made possible thanks to a local financing company – NCL Government Capital?
NCL Government Capital was started by two brothers, Chris and Mitri Canavati, who live in Alexandria and Brandon, respectively.
The company provides financial solutions for government and education agencies throughout the nation, and it is a division of Lease Servicing Center.
According to Chris Canavati, NCL has worked with municipalities – state, local, educational, tribal – across the country with equipment financing programs that help communities get more of what they need, like the new fire truck for the Alexandria Fire Department.
“As specialists in municipal financing, we understand the options available to government entities and can help design the most cost-effective solution,” said Canavati. “We always strive to deliver outstanding customer experiences throughout the entire procurement process. Alongside customers and vendor partners, together we work to achieve the common goal of improving the communities in which we live.”
When the financing company learned that the fire department was looking to replace/upgrade a firetruck through an article in the Echo Press, the Canavatis reached out to the city to offer financial services. A few emails turned into some meetings with Marty Schultz, administrator for the City of Alexandria and Jane Blade, the city’s finance director.
“We learned that they had already chosen a truck manufacturer, Rosenbauer, and we have had experience working with Rosenbauer all over the country, so the connection was simple,” said Canavati.
Ultimately, the city chose to use NCL’s Sourcewell-awarded contract to finance the purchase of the new fire truck. Canavati said it was “a huge win” for the city because it was able to get the much-needed equipment to help keep the community safe without having to wait through budget cycles.
“Working with NCL Government Capital was a learning process for all of us. In the past, our equipment purchases were limited to the funds on hand,” said Blade. “We discovered financing opportunities that changed our traditional way of thinking, which will open more doors for us in the future. NCL will be one of the first calls we make when the opportunity arises again.”
Canavati explained that Sourcewell is a government purchasing cooperative and that it helps communities leverage the purchasing power of many – meaning its 50,000-plus members – in order to attract the best providers in every category at the best price possible.
“Sourcewell is government helping government,” he said. “They offer a wide range of cooperative contracts to help government, education and nonprofits work more efficiently.”
He also noted that the company is based out of Staples but several of the company’s leaders live in Alexandria, including Chad Coauette, executive director and CEO, along with Travis Bautz, chief marketing officer.
Just like NCL, Canavati said, Sourcewell serves government and nonprofit entities nationwide.
NCL was also part of a new city-run car sharing program in the Twin Cities. Reportedly, the program is the first in the country powered entirely by renewable energy.
“NCL maximized our understanding of municipal financing to help the city of St. Paul get these cars cost effectively” said Canavati. “The city utilized federal grants, and NCL provided leasing. Federal tax credits are available to private entities for purchasing electric vehicles.
We were able to monetize those tax credits for the city, bringing down their costs and payments.”
The car sharing program was a collaborative effort between the city of St. Paul, the city of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Minnesota Department of Energy, Hour Car, Sourcewell and NCL Government Capital, he said.
He also noted that there is a huge opportunity for cities nationwide to create electric ride share programs because of the current federal tax credits.
To learn more about NCL, visit its website at nclgovcap.com.
Email reporter Celeste Edenloff at cedenloff@ echopress.com.